Newest Review: ... if he can go to the moon. Mummy Bear tells him that he can't because it's bath time and he doesn't have a rocket either! So Baby Bear find... more
A bear on the moon? Whatever Next!
Whatever Next! - Jill Murphy
Member Name: karalouk
Whatever Next! - Jill Murphy
Advantages: Fun story (that makes use of imaginative play), Lovely illustrations
Disadvantages: None for us
Whatever Next is a childrens story written and illustrated by Jill Murphy. Jill Murphy is also well known for creating the popular childrens book Peace At Last. She also created The Worst Witch series of books and The Large Family picture books. Whatever Next was first published in 1983.
The book is A4 size and paperback. The front cover (and pages) are quite thin unfortunately, so make sure young children are supervised! On the front cover is a large and rather fun picture of Baby Bear sitting in a box (with a colander on his head), zooming out of a chimney, whilst a cat looks on!
The story is fun and simple. It starts with Baby Bear asking Mummy Bear if he can go to the moon. Mummy Bear tells him that he can't because it's bath time and he doesn't have a rocket either! So Baby Bear finds a 'rocket' under the stairs, a 'space helmet' on the draining board and a pair of 'space boot's by the door. He packs his teddy and some food, and zooms up the chimney in his rocket (which is actually a box). Baby Bear flies through the night sky and even passes by an aeroplane. He befriends an owl and they visit the moon together. The moon seems a bit boring so Baby Bear and the owl have a picnic together. Baby Bear realises his bath must be ready, so makes his way home and says goodbye to the owl. Baby Bear lands on the living room carpet with a bump and Mummy Bear gasps "Look at the state of you! Why, you look as if you've been up the chimney!". Baby Bear points out that he HAS been up the chimney - he found a rocket and visited the moon! Mummy Bear laughs "You and your stories. Whatever next?".
The illustrations are lovely and enjoyable to look at. Each page has a full colourful picture and there are even black and grey pictures on the text pages (these give you more of an idea of what Baby Bear is getting up to). I never read this book as a child but I used to love Peace At Last. The pictures in this book are very similar to Peace At Last, which makes me feel even more positive towards it.
My daughter (who recently turned 6) regularly asks for this book at bedtimes and has done so for a few years. It's just the right length and it's a nice, enjoyable, easy going story for settling down to. My daughter is usually captivated until the end and doesn't lose interest. I like the fact that the book makes use of imaginative play and encourages children to use their own imagination like Baby Bear. As my daughter has now begun reading, she is also interested in helping me read the book - there is no repetition or rhyming, but there are a lot of small words for reading beginners to sound out (Eg. Can, go, to, the, mat, by, for, off, up). I think this book would be enjoyed best between 2-6 years.
Whatever Next is available at most good book shops and book schemes and the RRP is £4.99, but you can usually find it cheaper in most places. I thoroughly recommend!
Summary: A lovely childrens book.